Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Winter Minestrone Soup

On a cold and gloomy day like yesterday, all I feel like eating is something warm and hearty, and this minestrone soup was just the thing.  It has tons of color with lots of veggies plus leafy greens, beans, and potatoes which makes for a very satisfying soup.  Trust me, this soup will really warm your soul!

Makes 4 to 6 Servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound Swiss chard or Kale, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
2 large golden potatoes or 1 russet potato
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini (white) beans
2 (14 ounce) cans beef broth
1 (1 ounce) piece Parmesan rind *See note*

*Note* One of the key ingredients in this soup is the Parmesan rind!  Trust me, without this little trick the soup will still taste great, but it will be missing that creamy texture from the Parmesan.  Whenever I buy a block of Parmesan I cut off the rind and cut it into 1 ounce pieces.  The rinds will keep in the freezer and you can throw one into a soup, stew, pasta sauce, or whatever else you’d like to add a nice creamy texture and taste.


In a stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic.  Cook stirring frequently until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.  

Add the Swiss chard and potato.  Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. 

Stir in the tomatoes and rosemary sprigs.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until the chard is wilted and the tomatoes are soft.  Add the beans, broth, and Parmesan rind. 

Simmer, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are tender and the soup is thick, about 20 minutes.  Discard the rosemary stems and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

This is how the soup should look when done...see the change in color and texture

Ladle into bowls and serve with toasted crusty Italian bread!

Recipe Adapted From Giada De Laurentiis 

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